When starting a freelance copywriting career, the fastest way to jump start your earnings is to pick a niche and market to that niche with single-minded determination.
My niche was (and still is) the construction software industry. Why on Earth would anyone choose construction as their specialty? Because the bulk of my recent experience was in construction software marketing and copywriting and I had connections in that industry. (Even today, 80% of my freelance writing projects are for construction software vendors, although I now work with clients in other markets.)
But your niche doesn’t necessarily have to be an industry (like mine).
It can be a writing type, such as:
- Press releases
- Customer case studies (one of my sub-niches in construction)
- Writing web site copy
- White papers
- Data sheets
- Ghostwriting trade magazine articles
Niche Copywriting vs. Generalist Writing
Many people might argue that they don’t need a niche because they can write “about anything.” While that may be true, that was not the approach I used. And, since this is my formula, I’m going to tell you: don’t try to be a generalist copywriter out of the gate!
Choosing a niche brings focus to your business launch. It helps you sell your services in a very direct way and streamlines the process of moving from concept to completion. If you truly want to be a generalist copywriter, broaden your offerings once you’ve established your niche business. (Although you might be surprised how, once you’ve established your niche, new work in that niche will come to you seemingly out of the blue!)
How to Choose Your Niche
When choosing your initial copywriting niche, select something that:
- Interests you (so that you can enthusiastically sell your service);
- That you’re good (so you can demonstrate your capabilities to your prospects); and
- That you have some experience with (to give yourself credibility)
When contacting prospects by phone, e-mail or in person, you want to convey confidence that, if a prospect hires you, you’ll be able to get the job done. Breaking into freelance copywriting is easiest when you write what you know. Choose your niche accordingly!
Copywriter Confession: Choosing my niche was easy since I had 8 years of experience as the marketing manager for a construction software development firm. But if your experience isn’t that straight forward, leave a comment with your niche-selection questions and I’ll do my best to help!
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